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Monday, January 09, 2006

10 Commandments Case goes Unnoticed by MSM

How often is the ACLU called trite, wrong, and "perhaps intentionally" erroneous? That's exactly what the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said in their recent ruling regarding a 10 Commandments display in Kentucky. Here is a portion of their ruling:
The ACLU’s argument contains three fundamental flaws. First, the ACLU makes repeated reference to “the separation of church and state.” This extra-constitutional construct has grown tiresome. The First Amendment does not demand a wall of separation between church and state. Our Nation’s history is replete with governmental acknowledgment and in some cases, accommodation of religion. “There is an unbroken history of official acknowledgment by all three branches of government of the role of religion in American life from at least 1789.” After all, “[w]e are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.” Thus, state recognition of religion that falls short of endorsement is constitutionally permissible.

Second, the ACLU focuses on the religiousness of the Ten Commandments. No reasonable person would dispute their sectarian nature, but they also have a secular nature that the ACLU does not address. That they are religious merely begs the question whether this display is religious; it does not answer it. . . . “Simply having religious content or promoting a message consistent with a religious doctrine does not run afoul of the Establishment Clause.” . . . In short, “proving” that the Ten Commandments themselves are religious does not prove an Establishment Clause violation.

Third, the ACLU erroneously–though perhaps intentionally–equates recognition with endorsement. To endorse is necessarily to recognize, but the converse does not follow. Because nothing in the display, its history, or its implementation supports the notion that Mercer County has selectively endorsed the sectarian elements of the first four Commandments, we fail to see why the reasonable person would interpret the presence of the Ten Commandments as part of the larger “Foundations” display as a governmental endorsement of religion.

We will not presume endorsement from the mere display of the Ten Commandments. If the reasonable observer perceived all government references to the Deity as endorsements, then many of our Nation’s cherished traditions would be unconstitutional, including the Declaration of Independence and the national motto. Fortunately, the reasonable person is not a hyper-sensitive plaintiff. Instead, he appreciates the role religion has played in our governmental institutions, and finds it historically appropriate and traditionally acceptable for a state to include religious influences, even in the form of sacred texts, in honoring American legal traditions.
Finally, common sense out of the judiciary.

Thoughtful Readers Speak:
Isn't one of the commandments "Thou shalt have no other gods before me"?
Excellent post!

To erica:
The snippet of the ruling stated that the display did not necessarily constitute an endorsement of the religious elements of the first four commandments by the state.
I'm well aware of what the ruling stated. But that commandement explicitly states that it is wrong to have any god(s) other than the Judeo-Christian one. I suppose that doesn't specifically endorse Judaism/Christianity as much as it tells everybody else they are wrong and bad.
The display in question was about the historic foundations of American Law. In that context, the display is not an endorsement of religion, but an historical presentation.
The Ten Commandments have never been the foundation of American law. How could they? Most of what the Ten Commandments say are things that either aren't against the law, or stuff you're supposed to be doing. I mean, how else is capitalism supposed to work besides you coveting your neighbors possessions?

The First Amendment and the First Commandment are almost polar opposites. The Ten Commandments have no historical merit and have never been a part of American law. They're a specifically Judeo-Christian religious motif, and a public presentation of these laws must always consititute some level of endorsement as to what they say, which is unconstitutional.
Our schools must really be failing if so many people think that American law is based on the Ten Commandments. Many of the Founding Fathers weren't even Christian, they were Deists. You should look up some of the things they had to say about Christianity. It wasn't pretty.
Actually, early American law (pre-Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes) was based on the English common law which itself was an amalgam of Judeo-Christian and Roman precepts. It presumed a law-giver (read the Deists cited by Erica. The scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries was made possible by the acknowledgment that the universe behaved according to natural laws determined by the same law-giver. Now we have devolved (to use a wonderful word!) to a system of case law where justices will cite bad law to support their arguments (stare decisis).
Capitalism is not based on coveting; rather, it is the result of imagination and production. Capitalists are by nature anti-abortion--they want to see a bigger market for their ideas, i.e. they want to see more people born. The pro-abortion mentality is based on the static Malthusian idea that "there's only so much stuff to go around--I'm going to get mine!" The pro-abortionist will not stop at murder to secure his piece of the pie and worship at the feet of socialists like Marx, Darwin, Lenin, Huxley, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao.
Well, no.

The pro-abortion mentality has nothing to do with resources and everything to do with a woman's right not to have another human being take up residence inside her body without her permission.

But abortion is not the subject of this topic. And yes, capitalism is based on covetousness. There's no reason to innovate unless there's a market; and there's only a market if people want things that they do not have - coveting.

Capitalism is based on coveting; on people wanting what they see others have. Why do you think so many people bought iPods?
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